100 Illustrators that all Illustrators should know: #25
Harold “Hal” Foster (1892-1982)
Country: Canada & United States
Famous for: Prince Valiant, Tarzan,
Influenced: Frank Frazetta, Dave Stevens, William Stout, Al WIlliamson, Wally Wood, Joe Kubert, Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Jones, Barry Windsor-Smith, Michael Kaluta, Carl Barks, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Bob Kane, Bill Ward, Mark Schultz, Burne Hogarth, Gary Gianni, John Buscema, Neal Adams
Influenced by: J.C. Leyendecker, Charles Dana Gibson, Franklin Booth, N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hal Foster was a Canadian-American illustrator and comic artist, famous for his Tarzan comics, and for creating the newspaper strip, Prince Valiant, which is still running in newspapers today, making it among the longest running comics in history. Foster is an extremely important figure in the history of comics, particularly in the action/adventure genre. It is suggested by R.C Harvey that Foster and Alex Raymond (creator of Flash Gordon) “created the visual standard by which all such comic strips would henceforth be measured.” Foster brought a dynamic realism to comics unseen before, and like Winsor McCay, was one of the first truly innovative comic artists, elevating comic art to something more than “mere children’s entertainment.” As you can see from the “influenced” list above, Foster is among the most commonly cited influences among comic artists and fantasy illustrators.